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EOC signs historic MOU with Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Turkish Olympic Committee ahead of 2027 European Games

 ROME, May 16, 2024 – The European Olympic Committees (EOC) has today (May 16) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the Turkish Olympic Committee (TOC) at the Sala della Protomoteca in Rome, an historic step towards Istanbul hosting the 2027 European Games.
In March, the EOC Executive Committee approved Istanbul, Türkiye’s largest city and one of Europe’s most diverse, as host for the fourth edition of the European Games.
FORMAL STEP The signing of the MOU by EOC President Spyros Capralos, Mayor of Istanbul Ekrem İmamoğlu and TOC Vice President Mr Kazım Âli Kiremitçioğlu marks an important formal step prior to ratification by the EOC General Assembly in June and lays the foundations for the Host City Contract. The Istanbul Games will build on the success of the 2023 European Games Kraków- Małopolska, with Europe’s best athletes competing for the chance to qualify for the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028 in a number of sports. At the ceremony in Rome, EOC President Capralos, Mayor of Istanbul Mr İmamoğlu and TOC Vice President Mr Kiremitçioğlu all spoke of their excitement for the 2027 edition.
MOVING FORWARD President Capralos heralded the important milestone for the EOC, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the TOC as the continent looks forward to another successful European Games and praised the collaboration between the three parties. President Capralos said: “Today’s MOU will enable the European Olympic Committees to move forward with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Turkish Olympic Committee in delivering a special display of sport for all of Europe. “Türkiye is a country dedicated to sport and it has a strong history of organising outstanding events, both historically and recently. When we began our discussions with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the TOC last year, we knew we had partners we could trust to deliver a wonderful European Games. The city is already set up to host Europe’s best athletes. The infrastructure is in place and there will be no new permanent venues built, which will make this a cost-efficient and sustainable Games, building on the model which worked in Poland last year.
“Istanbul has proven it is a city with people who have the skills, the experience and the passion to host fantastic events. It is a city with a huge love for sport, and we look forward to working together to deliver a European Games that can encourage people of all ages across the continent to lead healthy lifestyles and participate in sport. We believe the European Games will build on the momentum of the Olympic Games Paris 2024, and the Olympic Winter Games here in Italy in 2026 in Milano-Cortina. It is an extraordinary time for European sport.”
LONG AND EXCITING JOURNEY Istanbul Mayor İmamoğlu highlighted his city’s excitement to welcome Europe’s best athletes to Türkiye in three years’ time, and their determination to host the most successful Games yet. Mayor İmamoğlu said: “We are honoured to be in Rome to sign an MOU with the EOC and TOC to further strengthen Türkiye’s full commitment to hosting the 2027 European Games in Istanbul. Thank you to President Capralos and the EOC for trusting us with their most important event.
“Together with the European Olympic Committees we embark on a long and exciting journey .
“We recognize that the 2027 European Games will be a milestone in both our city’s history and European sports history. With the European Games, we are committed to reshaping how our region and Europe engage with sports. Istanbul serves as a grand and inspiring stage for athletes throughout Europe. In 2027, we will elevate this platform with the European Games, inspiring sports fans across the world. Istanbul 2027 will amplify the perception and influence of the European Games.”
EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNINTY FOR ISTANBUL Turkish NOC Vice President, Mr Kazım Âli Kiremitçioğlu, reiterated the NOC’s commitment to the European Games and to Istanbul’s bid, highlighting the impact that the European Games will have on sport in Türkiye and across the continent.
Mr Kiremitçioğlu said: “The Turkish Olympic Committee is delighted to sign an MOU with the EOC and the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Having witnessed firsthand the impact that the 2023 edition had on Kraków, the Małopolska region and Poland as a whole last summer, we believe this is an extraordinary opportunity for Istanbul and our country. Not only will a home European Games prove inspirational for our elite athletes, but we believe it will further strengthen sport’s role in Türkiye and encourage children and adults across the country to participate regularly. “It is an honour to be invited to Rome to participate in this historic occasion and the TOC is fully committed to supporting both the EOC and the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in the preparations for the Games over the next three years. Türkiye is ready to welcome Europe and its athletes!”
EOC Secretary General, Mr Raffaele Pagnozzi, EOC Executive Committee and TOC Vice President, Mr Hasan Arat, and TOC Secretary General, Ms Neşe Gündoğan, were all in attendance at the signing ceremony. They were joined by IOC Member and Italian NOC President Mr Giovanni Malagò, IOC Executive Board Member and Association of Winter Olympic International Federations President, Mr Ivo Ferriani, Association of Summer Olympic International Federations President Mr Francesco Ricci Bitti and IOC Honorary Member Mr Franco Carraro.

Photo:  EOC President Spyros Capralos and Mayor of Istanbul Ekrem İmamoğlu (Photo by EOC)


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